Lorne and Louise Rachlis joined Temple Israel congregation after arriving back in Ottawa in 1983 after 15 years in Toronto.
“We had been members of Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto,” says Lorne, “and we wanted to continue to have a synagogue that accepted women and men as equals with a Jewish feeling but modern approach to Judaism.”
Lorne and Louise are among Temple members who have signed a Letter of Intent for Temple’s Life & Legacy program.
Over the years at Temple, the Rachlises have enjoyed “the friendliness and involvement of the congregants,” he says, “and the choice from a large variety of activities, and the social outreach tikkun olam.”
Both Louise and Lorne have been active in Temple; he has been on the board and is a past president; she has written frequently about Temple activities in the Ottawa Jewish Bulletin. “I always wanted to be more involved than simply attending events,” explains Lorne. “I thought I could make a contribution – other than paying dues – by helping the other volunteers who were organizing and making decisions.”
Their three children, Joshua, Diana, and Naomi all attended TIRS and had B’nai mitzvoth at Temple.
Diana and her husband Dan Harvey were married by Rabbi Steven Garten in the sanctuary in April 2013, the first interfaith wedding ceremony to take place at Temple.
Temple Israel established a task force on interfaith marriage in 2011; the task force concluded the practice would provide the opportunity that might otherwise be lost for a mixed faith couple to maintain Jewish values in their home and for their children to be given a Jewish identity and education.
“Temple Israel has been important in our lives, and we want to help its continued growth and influence by being part of Life & Legacy,” says Lorne. “There are a variety of ways in helping Temple sustain itself and to grow and everyone should be able to find a way to support it that is comfortable and convenient for them. It feels good to have made the commitment now.”